Obama Wins Reelection, And My Concession to a Worthy Debating Opponent

Two weeks ago, I was approached by PolicyMic pundit Matthew Rozsa about the idea of making predictions for Election Night. Our two articles would be posted on top of PolicyMic.com for the majority of the day in the form of a debate. I agreed, thinking it would be a fun thing to do. After all, that is what PolicyMic is all about. The day we decide that we are above debate, discussion and the exchange of ideas is the day that our amazing republic will truly be lost. 

I'm thankful that I did not end up regretting engaging in this bet. While my prediction ended up being off and I ended up losing the wager, I am grateful that I lost it to a classy competitor. 

As I am writing this, the fate of Florida's 29 electoral votes remains up in the air. As for the other 49 states, Matthew called it perfectly. He saw the trend in Virginia and Ohio, which I did not. He correctly pointed out Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other crucial swing states that President Obama won. While both candidates had strong ground games, Matthew reminded us that Obama still had the edge in those crucial must-win states. If you want to learn something, make sure you Google the historical references he threw in there as well. Each one was not only well written, but relevant to his overall point. 

His prediction of course went deeper than that. He had the foresight to realize that if Obama won, he would not win in an absolute blow out. Matthew believed that if Obama won the night, he would do so by the smallest margin ever obtained by an incumbent president that was reelected. Nice. 

Aside from that, Matthew deserves some accolades for a few other reasons. His dedication to his work and writing are astounding. All you need to do is take a look at some of his articles, and you will see a guy who, whether you agree with him or know, is no slouch. (One look at his Master's Thesis on Grover Cleveland's 1887 State of the Union speech will confirm that.) 

Over the past two weeks, Matthew and I have spoken on several occasions, both through email and on Facebook. I can honestly say that while we probably could not be further apart ideologically, I have come to respect him a great deal. While many others would have taken the opportunity to rip their opponent to shreds, Matt was incredibly gracious. Instead of succumbing to the temptation of being a braggart, Matthew's next move was to write an editorial for PolicyMic on how Democrats and liberals should make sure to show grace in their victory. His piece kicks off with a wonderful quote from one of my favorite historical figures, Ulysses S. Grant.

I could not have asked for a better competitor and a more honorable man to go up against. I've learned in life that there is no shame in being wrong. Polls can be misinterpreted. Tea leaves can be misread, and sometimes, you just lose. Thankfully, Matthew is the type of dude who does not make you feel like a loser even when you come in last place. For that, he has my thanks.

Good job buddy! 

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Jesse Merkel

Jesse currently works as a Content Engineer for HubShout, LLC. In the past, he wrote about the political scene in his hometown of Rochester, NY for Examiner.com. Prior to becoming a writer, Jesse worked as a professional guitarist and private music instructor for over seven and a half years, while also volunteering on several local and national political campaigns. These days, Jesse enjoys writing about music, movies and pop culture, and is a die hard Trekker.

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